Mercedes-Benz CLS Shooting Brake: Four tracks in the snow

How does the shooting brake in the snow, in ice, at minus 15 degrees and beyond the grip limit?

The elegant Mercedes-Benz makes a good figure on asphalt, as he does in the Tyrolean mountains Ralf Bernert has tried for


After landing at Innsbruck, the Olympic rings come to mind. 1972, a hill with historical value. At that time you went with the W116 in the mountains, or better on the mountains. With snow chains and a very full trunk. So it was about the 180 PS under the hood, from All wheel drive you could dream or you changed to the Unimog. Winter vacation by car was quite laborious at that time, either the cooling water boiled several times or the driven wheels lost their grip. You pushed, you cooled off and you quickly learned how to wrap your snow chains on a tire and you made friends with other fellow sufferers. Together pushes better.

Forty years later.

All sorts of cars are powered more or less on all four wheels. From the real off-road vehicle, over SUVs to the luxury sedan. It seems that the nation is now in winter sports collectively and throughout the year. The cooling also creates the highest mountains, whether the engine sits front or rear does not matter and who has completed a driving safety training specifically for the winter, should actually always make good progress. If not, we recommend large, empty parking lots at malls on Sundays in the morning.

One speaks with the first snow and gets to know him. That takes fears and provides security.

With various driving safety training in the luggage of the Shooting Brake is entered, or better, you get in and the very exclusive equipment greets the crew. What promises the exterior of the car, in particular, is consistently continued inside. Maybe the Shooting Brake is one of the few cars whose interior you can always look at in your own rearview mirror.

The bow from the outside mirror to the two tailpipes stretches as clearly visible from the outside in the interior as drawn with a fine pen. This may seem a bit baroque for the lover of modern car architecture, but is firstly due to the manufacturer's tradition and is secondly felt by more and more young people as a style-building measure. In all due brevity you can confirm the Shooting Brake an elegant and stylish line. The Mercedes will freak jazz musicians rather less enthusiastic, but all the more the lover of a healthy mix of residential-driving-cruise-back-haptic-optics-high quality.

Snow, what do you want?

The white splendor remains loose and flaky. Under the snow there is more snow, firm and not flaky at all. A stupid mating, because a tire wants to dovetail with the ground, forming a bond that lasts as long as possible. But if the top layer does not tie with the bottom, four powered wheels will not guarantee a perfect ride.

The solution? You drive slowly and with foresight. In our case, the combination of solid driving skills and convincing cooperation of transmission and drive made the trip on snow a pleasure with plenty of propulsion.

The elegant Schwabe shone with excellent starting values ​​and very good dosing power. Where, for lack of grip, individual wheels were thinking about losing their grip, clever electronics used the lever. The forces were diverted at lightning speed, each wheel is supplied with sufficient torque and made very convincing to the stability of the car. This may apply to most four-wheel drive automobiles, but is also noteworthy at Mercedes because the subtle technology works not only smoothly but also without heavy weight. Just 70 kilos extra weight are the Shooting Brake brought, the extra consumption should be according to the manufacturer just 0,2 to 0,6 liters on 100 kilometers.

An argument that you like to write down.

Mercedes Benz, 4-Matic, driving event Hochgurgl 2012

On our short and quite curvy test track we were able to increase the efficiency of the 4-Matic Systems test pretty well. The approach went smoothly and without delay, even if there was a hesitant tendency to oversteer or understeer, the electronics intervened in a helpful manner, the car was deprived of its power where it failed, and torque was delivered where the tires had sufficient grip. Even at higher speeds, the mechanics and electronics played well, although a finding from many test drives comes into play again and again:

"If the tree is too close, you've been too fast."

Down the snow, up the highway. Almost 100 kilometers to Innsbruck airport. The CLS 500 Shooting Brake runs in Tempo 120 in Smooth mode. The V8 also leans back acoustically, the chassis ensures a smooth road, short sprints for overtaking maneuvers can be addictive. One would like to do without the return flight and let the red test car run to Stuttgart. Not only because the Shooting Brake on the highway can show off its athletic talents better, but because it certainly requires far less fuel than a propeller engine with 20 people on board.


Text: Ralf Bernert
Photos: Manufacturer / Ralf Bernert

The technical data (according to the manufacturer):

Shooting Brake CLS 350 CDI 4-Matic:
Engine: V6 Diesel
Displacement: 2.987 ccm
Power: 195 kW / 265 PS
Torque: 620 Nm
Transmission: 7 G-Tronic
Consumption combined: 6,0 l / 100 km
CO2: 169 g / km
Acceleration 0-100 km / h: 6,6 seconds
Maximum speed: 250 km / h
Price from: 68.365,50 Euro

Shooting Brake CLS 500 4-Matic:
Engine: V8
Displacement: 4.633 ccm
Power: 300 kW / 408 PS
Torque: 600 Nm
Transmission: 7 G-Tronic
Consumption combined: 9,2 l / 100 km
CO2: 214 g / km
Acceleration 0-100 km / h: 5,3 seconds
Maximum speed: 250 km / h
Price from: 84.966,00 Euro



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